Wendy Maruyama The wildLIFE Project

Exhibition Website

Sep 22 2016 - Jan 15 2017

This captivating installation looks at the plight of two great animals of Africa, the elephant and the rhinoceros, and the carnage left behind by poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

This multi-sensory environment includes elephants immortalized in works eight-to-12 feet high, and a Buddhist-style shrine offers incense and a bell that rings every 15 minutes to honor the animals lost to a $10 billion yearly industry. Most known as an art-furniture maker, this retired professor at San Diego State University is a master craftswoman who branched out into different materials for this powerful work.

There's also a cenotaph, an empty tomb erected in honor of those whose remains are elsewhere, that features a video memorial to these wonders of the natural world.

Maruyama's work combines art, advocacy, and education. These pieces command our attention and beg a question: What can we do to make this stop? Satao, one of the oldest and largest Kenyan elephants and the namesake for the artwork shown at right, was killed by poachers before Maruyama could finish the project.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Installation
  • Asian
  • Contemporary
  • Animals / Wildlife / Nature
  • Japanese
  • Wendy Maruyama

Exhibition Venues & Dates